This is progress.
On Thursday, the NHL announced their initiatives to combat racism and accelerate its inclusion efforts. The league will work with the NHLPA and NHL clubs to adopt additional measures.
You can read the entirety of the release by clicking on the link above, but here are some of the main points:
- There will be mandatory inclusion and diversity training for all NHL players and NHLPA staff members.
- The NHL and NHLPA will work with the Hockey Diversity Alliance to establish a grassroots hockey development program for BIPOC boys and girls in Toronto.
- There will be an inclusion learning experience for all NHL employees.
- The NHL will work with partners at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to pledge financial support for the Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University.
- The Executive Inclusion Council has been formed, which consists of owners, former players, and club and league executives. It will "spearhead more inclusive thinking...by candidly assessing its current state, identifying opportunities for positive change, and developing tangible action steps and benchmarks that will advance both the inclusion and diversity of the sport."
- The NHL Hotline has been created. It's a reporting platform that will "enable stakeholders across the NHL ecosystem to report unethical behavior and misconduct." Per Commissioner Gary Bettman, there is a zero-tolerance policy for failing to report any inappropriate, unlawful, or abusive conduct.
- The NHL will partner with When We All Vote, an organization whose mission is to increase participation in every election and change the culture around voting.
Empty words, no matter the situation, have no meaning. Therefore, in times like these, it's good to see concrete action being taken by the NHL. The league's willingness to partner with the NHLPA and outside agencies is encouraging, and these initiatives should bring positive change.